A Mchinji based organization, Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO) has trained village savings loan groups locally known as Banki Mkhonde in business management as one way of fighting against gender based violence women usually face from their husbands.
The training which is under the project Action for Women Economic Empowerment (AWEE) is aimed at economically empowering women who are abused because they only rely on their husbands financially.
Team leader for the project Precious Maleka made the remarks at Kam’banda village when over 20 women from different loan groups were drilled on how to manage their businesses, boost their capital through access of loans from lend lending institutions and other financial related tips.
“Our survey indicated that men victimize their wives because most women do not have finances to help in taking care of the families”, Maleka said.
Maleka added that the training seeks to see women being financial independent so they should take part in taking care of their families.
“It shouldn’t be men always taking care of the families, women can help their partners but first they need to be financially independent that is why we are training them on how they can manage businesses,” she added.
One of the facilitators from Vision Fund Fatsani Chiwaula said there is a communication gap between access of loans and business management to women groups.
He said most women acquire false information about lending institutions on issues of interest rates and collateral conditions.
Women groups are reluctant to access loans from institutions because they have exaggerated information on interest rates and collateral, but this training is an eye opener for them”, he said.
Chiwaula said interest rates are regulated by the reserve bank of Malawi as such lending institutions set the rates according to the law.
In her remarks, one of the participants in the training Felesiya Kamanga said she is now convinced that accessing loans from institutions is not as difficult as she thought and that it is her hope that businesses amongst village savings loan groups will improve in the near future.
GAYO is implementing a women empowerment project dubbed Action for Women Economic Empowerment (AWEE) in the areas of T/A Kapondo and Nyoka Mchinji.“`